The Origins of the School of Art and Design

 

Date: Thursday 4th June
Time: 5.45pm for a 6pm start
Venue: Lecture Theatre 01.01, Cardiff School of Management, Llandaff Campus

To book a place at this lecture please click he​​re.

From the 1830s into the 1880s, successive Governments funded the establishment of art schools throughout the UK and steered their subsequent development.  This was led by the Board of Trade, through a national curriculum and examination of system.  The level of achievement was stimulated by annual competitions.

The purpose of this long-term initiative was unequivocal: to compete successfully, especially with the French, Britain needed to manufacture and trade in first-rate products, which could only be achieved through the application of first rate-design and artisan skills.  Britain's art schools were charged with the training of the adult artisan, in technical and free hand-drawing, along with associated skills, such as model making.

In November 1865, Cardiff Council elected to join with the national scheme and set up an art school.  Cardiff's Art School began its classes in January 1866, in a large room off St Mary's Street that already contained the Council's library and burgeoning museum collection.

Just over a hundred years later, the University, as we now know it, began to take shape. In 1976, Llandaff Technical College, Cardiff Training College, Cardiff College of Food Technology and Commerce, with the Cardiff's School of Art, formed the South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education.  Here also lies the origin of the current five Schools:  Health Sciences, Management, Education, Sport, and Art & Design. 

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Professor Gaynor Kavanagh

Professor Kavanagh was educated at Abersychan Grammar-Technical School and studied history and then museum studies at the University of Leicester. She holds both a DPhil and an MPhil. A qualified and experienced curator, she was part of the world-renowned Department of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester between 1980 and 1999. Following appointments at Bath Spa University, Falmouth University and the University of Southampton, she became head of Cardiff School of Art & Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University (UWIC) in October 2005 and became Dean in August 2006.

She is the author of three books on museums: History Curatorship (1990)  Museums and the First World War(1994) and Dream Spaces: Memory and the Museum (2000) and has been editor of a further seven volumes.   She continues to lecture and write on museums.

Professor Kavanagh has been an advisor to the National Railway Museum, York, the National Museum of Wales and the National Audit Office. She is currently serving on an expert panel reviewing local authority museums in Wales for the Welsh Government.